Democrats are hoping that voters in New Hampshire will reset the party’s presidential nomination fight on Tuesday and bring clarity to a young primary season that has been marred by deep dysfunction and doubt.
Since the chaotic Iowa caucuses failed to perform their traditional function of winnowing the race, it now falls to New Hampshire to begin culling the Democratic field, which still features almost a dozen candidates.
With the polls open for hours, the biggest news was former Vice President Joe Biden’s sudden withdrawal from the Granite State. Biden canceled a last minute primary event and announced he was leaving for South Carolina earlier than expected.
2020 Watch-New: @JoeBiden Will not be in New Hampshire tonight. The former vice president is flying to South Carolina later today and will headline a campaign kickoff event in SC tonight #nhpolitics #FITN #2020Election #JoeBiden pic.twitter.com/JvLASjXCK1
— Paul Steinhauser (@steinhauserNH1) February 11, 2020
For Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the vote is an opportunity to build on his dominance of the party’s left flank. A repeat of his strong showing in Iowa could severely damage progressive rival Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who faces the prospect of an embarrassing defeat in a state that borders her home of Massachusetts.
While Sanders marches forward, moderates are struggling to unite behind a candidate. After essentially tying with Sanders for first place in Iowa, Pete Buttigieg, the 38-year-old former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, begins his day as the centrist front-runner. But Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is mounting a spirited bid for the same voters.